Roadside Art: Beautiful Death Fence

Take a morning stroll down a familiar city neighborhood – you’re daily commute, for instance, unless you only travel freeways – and you’ll notice details easily missed when speeding through (not only commonplace details like the numbers on the houses, but the stuff between the houses that gets overlooked at first glance): lush gardens, animals in their habitat, quirky signs, etc.

Likewise, a city business district comes alive at night with neon signs, vibrant window displays unintentionally ignored in the bustle of daylight hours, shops overlooked when dormant (“There’s a jazz club here?”), and so on.

Country roads reveal many of the same delights to an even more extreme degree, as individual expression spreads out on a larger canvas. For instance, “Private Property” signs shift from mild warnings of easily dismissed guard dogs (“Probably means a yappy Chihuahua, right?”) to threats of guns and target practice.

Very little is hidden. Stores are advertised on anything from billboards to handmade signs miles in advance. Sites of interest are clearly identified, explained on detailed markers, and surrounded with ample parking.

But you know all of that. I wanted to set the stage for a series of posts reviewing what I call “Roadside Art,” meaning things that are not quite an “attraction” worth stopping for, but interesting enough to appreciate (at least until you get to that fruit stand 3 miles ahead).


Springville CA Fence Decoration


I love the dichotomy (sorry for the $2 word) here: death and life, old and young, masculine and feminine, natural and man made, past expiration and still in use. Even the grass in my photo seems to be in on the theme.

Am I reading too much into it? Probably. Oh well…

Did I miss any other opposites?

Hey look! I think I see the fruit stand!

2 thoughts on “Roadside Art: Beautiful Death Fence

  1. I love riding the train for this reason – “very little is hidden.” I get to stare out the window and peak into other lives, often seeing the backside. It may be messy or a delightful surprise, but it’s always something to wonder about.


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